Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2017
Publication Date: 2/24/2017
Citation: Niemira, B.A. 2017. Cold plasma as an antimicrobial intervention for fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables: an ERRC research update. Meeting Abstract. Volume 1, Page 1. ARS/FSIS Food Safety Workshop, Shepherdstown, WV. February 21-24, 2017.
Technical Abstract: Contamination of fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables by foodborne pathogens has prompted research at the Eastern Regional Research Center into novel interventions. Cold plasma is a nonthermal food processing technology which uses energetic, reactive gases to inactivate contaminating microbes. This flexible sanitizing method uses electricity and a carrier gas such as air, oxygen, nitrogen or helium; conventional antimicrobial chemical agents are not required. The primary modes of action are via reactive chemical products of the cold plasma ionization process and UV light. Current research has developed a wide array of cold plasma systems which operate at atmospheric pressures or in low pressure treatment chambers. Multi-log reductions of Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, norovirus and other pathogens have been demonstrated, but further optimization is needed. This presentation will summarize the ongoing cold plasma research in the Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research Unit on developing this antimicrobial intervention for fresh produce.